Sand Dogs and career opportunities

One of the things that will differentiate games in the Soft Horizon is the way characters are generated. Although the mechanism and the power scale are roughly the same in all of the games, I want to create different characters in different ways each time. Hopefully thematic ways. So for Sand Dogs we’re going to use a life path system so that you think about your characters in terms of their careers. These are characters whose past follows them.

I have always liked the way that a good life path system makes you make sense of the results. This is what creates novel backgrounds. It is basically a character generator combined with an oracle for background information. Does this one deliver?

Methods

All characters have the following methods with a d6 in each:

  • Rescue
  • Violence
  • Socialize
  • Endure
  • Locate
  • Fabricate
  • Chase
  • Mischief
  • Know

Career opportunities

You’ve been at this a while. You’ve had a few different jobs. You will have four opportunities. First roll on the table and apply the result. After your first roll you may choose to stay in the career another term or roll for a new career opportunity. If you are asked to specialize a method you may either add a new specialization at d6 or increase an existing specialization one step. If any die is at d10 you may not increase it but may specialize it instead. You may only DENY one method. If you are called on to increase a method you have DENIED you must specialize it instead.

1  – Military. You enlisted or were drafted into a military organization. This might have been a standing army but more likely it was a local militia or even a militarized police force. Your choices in first or fourth careers might more clearly colour this: a denial of violence and specialization in rescue could indicate a very principled police officer, for example.

  • Increase VIOLENCE one step or DENY VIOLENCE and specialize RESCUE.
  • If this is your FIRST career, increase ENDURE.
  • If this is your FOURTH career, add a SCAR and specialize MISCHIEF.

2  – Commerce. You’re in business! Maybe running a company or maybe just sales. Or maybe you’re an inventor stuck in a successful company, wishing you could just make things.

  • Increase your SOCIALIZE one step or DENY SOCIALIZE and specialize FABRICATE.
  • If this is your FIRST career, increase LOCATE.
  • If this is your FOURTH career, add a BOND and specialize KNOW.

3  – Politics. You’re either in office, running for office, or maybe you just do the dirty tricks for someone else who is. Regardless, you’re in the thick of it, seeing how the sausage is made. It ain’t pretty.

  • Increase your SOCIALIZE one step or DENY SOCIALIZE and specialize MISCHIEF.
  • If this is your FIRST career, increase KNOW.
  • If this is your FOURTH career, add a BOND and specialize MISCHIEF.

4  – Crime. Well someone has to do it. Maybe you’re a thief, maybe a smuggler, maybe a robber. Maybe you just drive the getaway plane. But you were part of something illegal and probably bad and there are bound to be people who remember that.

  • Increase MISCHIEF one step or DENY MISCHIEF and specialize CHASE.
  • If this is your FIRST career, increase CHASE.
  • If this is FOURTH career, add some LOOT with 2d6 and specialize VIOLENCE.

5  – Industry. You’re on the assembly line or running the petroleum pumps or maybe handling a huge smelting rig. Or maybe you’re an engineer who plans all this fabrication. You know about making things and the people that make things.

  • Increase your FABRICATE one step or DENY FABRICATE and specialize KNOW.
  • If this is your FIRST career, increase LOCATE.
  • If this is your FOURTH career, specialize ENDURE and specialize SOCIALIZE (union comrades perhaps).

6  – Detective. Private dick or a cop? Maybe in the military police? You specialize in finding people and uncovering their secrets. Or maybe you’re more on the forensic end, analyzing evidence for deeper truths.

  • Increase your LOCATE one step or DENY LOCATE and specialize KNOW instead.
  • If this is your FIRST career, increase ENDURE.
  • If this is your FOURTH career, add a BOND and specialize RESCUE.

7  – Academia. Ah university. You might be a professor or a student, but you were hitting the books–or maybe the beer kegs. You know your way around a library and maybe have a little better idea of what makes the world tick. Or maybe not. Maybe the real truths are not in your books.

  • Increase your KNOW one step or DENY KNOW and specialize SOCIALIZE.
  • If this is your FIRST career, increase SOCIALIZE.
  • If this is your FOURTH career, add a BOND and specialize FABRICATE.

8  – Emergency services. Fire, air crash, industrial explosion: you’re a first responder, either solving the disaster or helping the wounded. Or perhaps you just like having a reason to drive real fast.

  • Increase your RESCUE one step or DENY RESCUE and specialize CHASE.
  • If this is your FIRST career, increase CHASE.
  • If this is your FOURTH career, add a SCAR and specialize KNOW.

9  – Stalker. You chose a bad job. I mean, it sounded great and every treats you with deference, but some of the things you find in those tombs are mind-bending. And your mind is a little bent. Sometimes it’s easier to let someone else do it and then jump them on the way home.

  • Increase your LOCATE one step or DENY LOCATE and specialize MISCHIEF instead.
  • If this is your FIRST career, increase KNOW.
  • If this is your FOURTH career, add a SCAR and specialize RESCUE.

10  – Mechanic. Maybe at the airstrip or maybe at the car pool, you fix things. Take broken stuff and make it go again. You’re happiest covered in grease though maybe you’re better at finding a deal on that obscure part that everyone needs and no one has.

  • Increase your FABRICATE one step or DENY FABRICATE and specialize LOCATE.
  • If this is your FIRST career increase RESCUE.
  • If this is your FOURTH career, add some loot with 1d8 and specialize CHASE.

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